Hajj ministry launches Twitter awareness campaign

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Ministry official Ayman Al-Arfaj said two additional Twitter accounts, @mohu_En and @mohu_INTL, were launched to reach a wider audience. (Shutterstock)
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Ministry official Ayman Al-Arfaj said two additional Twitter accounts, @mohu_En and @mohu_INTL, were launched to reach a wider audience. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 August 2019

Hajj ministry launches Twitter awareness campaign

  •  The account covers all Hajj procedures for pilgrims, from registering with authorized Hajj service providers to the time of their departure
  • Another technological development is the Arafat Sermon app, which will offer a live translation of the sermon in the Chinese language for the first time this year

MINA: Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry has launched a Twitter service to help answer pilgrims’ frequently asked questions.

 The service started with hundreds of tweets - accompanied by the Arabic hashtag #Your_Hajj_in_your_Own_Language - that were translated into 13 languages including Chinese, French, Russian, Thai and Urdu. 

 The account covers all Hajj procedures for pilgrims, from registering with authorized Hajj service providers to the time of their departure. Ministry official Ayman Al-Arfaj said two additional Twitter accounts, @mohu_En and @mohu_INTL, were launched to reach a wider audience as well as increase engagement through technology. 

 “It is also meant to spread reassurance and harmony among the guests of Allah,” he told Arab News. “Around 60 people were deployed to achieve this work. These include researchers, translators, editors, content managers and graphic designers. We have started distributing hundreds of thousands of (pages) of printed material among pilgrims for the same purpose. The Hajj and Umrah minister, Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten and his Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat, are always keen to provide pilgrims with reliable and authentic information. This can help eliminate illegal Hajj campaigns. It can also lend a hand in promoting awareness and help pilgrims make their rituals in the right way.

 Al-Arfaj said the initiative aimed to expand global communication with Muslims through social media. “This initiative can help us spread Hajj-related information that pilgrims need before their arrival and during their journey of faith.”

 Another technological development is the Arafat Sermon app, which will offer a live translation of the sermon in the Chinese language for the first time this year.  The app was launched in 2018 and initially offered translations of the sermon in English, Farsi, French, Malay and Urdu.

 The day of Arafat marks the culmination of Hajj and it is where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) delivered his final sermon.  A sermon is given at Masjid-e-Nimra, Mount Arafat, every year.


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.